By Kehinde Oluwatayo
Policy makers in Nigeria have been advised to make vocational agriculture mandatory in primary and secondary schools in the country.
They have also been urged to make agriculture attractive to the youth so that there could be enough food for the populace and raw materials for the industries.
An agriculturist, Dr Emmanuel Moyinjesu who gave the suggestion while speaking in an interview with The Hope said most youths lost interest in agriculture because they were not taught the practical aspect in school.
Moyinjesu said Nigeria was better when school were into farming and called on policy makers to do backward integration by making practical agriculture mandatory in schools through a bill by the House of Assembly.
According to him, people would be interested in agriculture when schools have farms and students were being taught vocational agriculture.
“The problem of the youth not having interest in farming began from failure of education to prioritize agriculture. Most of our schools do not have farms.These youths were not taught practical agriculture when they were in school but whenever they write agriculture in WASSCE, they get A1.
“We can only inculcate agriculture in them when they are taught vocational aspect of the subject. They don’t know how to plant, they don’t know how to harvest, they don’t know anything about farming and we want them to go into it.
“The problem is fundamental. When we were younger and were in primary school, we were taught nature study, gardening among others. But later they put these subjects under social studies. In secondary school too, we had farms.But today nothing of such is happening in our schools. This is curriculum dislocation.
“We did a study for the state government at a time. The oldest secondary school in Akoko land did not have a farm. The ones visited in Ondo and Okitipupa only did little. The same systemic failure is in our higher institutions.
Adekunle Ajasin University began it’s faculty of agriculture not up to five years. I don’t even think OAUSTECH has faculty of agriculture. Schools in an agrarian state,” he said.
According to him, lack of interest in farming by Nigerians has resulted in few people producing food for the larger population and rise in unemployment.
He said the problems of agriculture identified from the beginning like poor funding, illiteracy, conservatism are yet to be solved.
He added that the myopic nature of the society in general and the parents in particular make them discourage their children from taking up agriculture and called for a change of orientation.